Monday, 23 April 2012

Sex As Work Double Bill

Sunday 29 April | Doors 7pm | Admission Free

Directed by Kamran Shirdel, Iran, 1966-1981 (18mins)
Directed by Tony Garnett, UK, 1980 (1hr 34 mins)

Qaleh - The Women's Quarter (1966-1981) shows the life of prostitutes in Tehran's city brothels, an area known as Shahre Now. The film closely follows a number of women and communicates how the burden of social constraints led them to surrender in the face of their common fate. By including photos in the film, a very unique and artistic approach that brings to mind Chris Marker's classic La Jeteé, Shirdel not only tempers the subject's emotional heaviness but also respects the individual's privacy, two pitfalls that often afflict films that deal with themes of this nature. The film does explore the possibility of re-education and development for these women, but in no way does it paint over the hard and brutal reality. As the film closes, a magnificent scene shot in slow motion leaves us with the memory of this ugliness forever imprinted in our minds.

The film was produced on behalf of the Organization of Iranian Women and was immediately banned while shooting was still going on. After the revolution, a portion of the material was recovered, and Shirdel decided to finish the film using photos by the late Kaveh Golestan that were taken more than ten years after the film itself was shot.

Prostitute (UK), 1980
Directed by Tony Garnett

Mastered from original film materials and presented fully uncut for the very first time, Prostitute is Tony Garnett’s groundbreaking and controversial documentary of the lives of a group of Birmingham sex workers.

One of British television's most critically acclaimed figures, Tony Garnett has been responsible for producing some of the UK’s most radical dramas. In the 1960s and 1970s he collaborated with director Ken Loach, beginning with the groundbreaking Up the Junction (1965) and Cathy Come Home (1966). After spending most of the 1980s in America, he returned to work on series and serial drama with a range of credits, including Between the Lines (1992-1994), This Life (1996-1997) and The Cops (1998-2001).

His cinematic directorial debut, Prostitute (1980), which he also wrote and produced, is the story of two women – Sandra (Eleanor Forsythe), an ambitious but naïve Birmingham working girl who moves to London with the hope of securing wealthier patrons, and Louise (Kate Crutchley), her social worker friend, who is fighting to change the antiquated and hypocritical prostitution laws. As both strive to achieve their goals, a cold dose of reality dashes their hopes and the built-in biases against women in society are unmasked. Tony Garnett researched and developed the film over several years, working closely with PROS, the Programme for Reform of the Law on Soliciting, for the decriminalisation of prostitution in Britain.

Recalling the film in 2011, Tony Garnett writes:

I wanted to make a film from the prostitute’s point of view. It would not be sexy, turning the audience into punters. No prostitute would turn out to have a heart of gold or fall in love and marry a kind, millionaire punter. It would be about money, buying and selling, and the stress that particular trade imposes. It would show how class distinctions altered the transactions. I hoped for insights and debate. Often when dealing with a world the public does not know but thinks it knows, it is useful to dispel the prejudice by just carefully revealing its day to day character in a matter-of-fact way. I was not interested in making a genre film, whether thriller, romance or morality tale.


Colorama Cinema
52-56 Lancaster Street
London SE1

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Full Unemployment Cinema and the Copenhagen Commune invites you to:

Venues: Folkets Hus, Kafa-X and Saxil Cykler, Copenhagen

Thursday & Friday April 18 & 19 from 10.30am until late.

The teach-in and festival will focus on the term communisation that recently have become a term for debate within ultra-left revolutionary theory and practice. The days we spent together will consist of a combination of theoretical and practical workshops and film activities, such as screenings and a communist film production workshop.

‘Communism is not a set of measures to be put into practice after the seizure of power [...]. All past movements were able to bring society to a standstill and waited for something to come out of this universal stoppage. Communisation, on the contrary, will circulate goods without money [...] it will tend to break all separations.’
Gilles Dauve and Francois Martin
The Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement.

Communisation can be broadly understood as the abolition of capitalism and the immediate production of communism within a revolution. Class relations, exchange, money, the domination of life by value, the state and its apparatuses of control - all would be negated in this process rather than maintained and utilised during a transitional phase towards communism. The process of communisation is communism and communism is communisation. In this communisation represents a break with ideas of revolution as the imposition of 'workers control' or the self-organised management of capitalism. Communisation would be the production of new social relations that would destroy our status as proletarians, contest everyday alienation, call into question gender relations and definitively displace capital as the organising principle of our world. The revolution as communisation would mean discovering desires and collective ways of living unacknowledged and almost unimaginable within capitalism.

Full Unemployment Cinema is a London based group that has been running a film programme screening films about or against work for the last few years. The Copenhagen Commune is a loose network of activists, artists and drop outs working for an independent and communist Copenhagen. The festival is organised in collaboration with Wall & Space / the Royal Academy of Fine Art.

A pamphlet, The Communisation Companion, can be downloaded here:


Venue - Folkets Hus, Stengade 50, Nørrebro

10.30 Coffee and tea and introductions
11AM -2PM
Introduction to The Festival and Full Unemployment Cinema and the Copenhagen Commune.

Communisation might seem to be little more than a utopian dream of the negation of capitalism, a future event that has little to do with our lives in the present. But communisation is already a process and tendency in motion at present in relation to real desires emerging from the everyday. It has already started...



Discussion around what the family and gender relations have to do with communization and capitalism, how feminism relates to communism and what this might have to do with relationships now.

Workshop about how reading and writing fiction informs and changes our notions of what communism might be. Discussion hopefully followed by the production of some very, very short stories or stripes. at the end of the workshop we can produce a booklet gathering all the short short stories and the small small drawings produced.

Part One: This workshop will be an experiment in collective use of images and sound. We will create a large collective storyboard which will act as our starting point for finding different ways of making a film together. Part Two of this workshop is on Friday. It okay to come to Part One, Part Two or both.

6.15 Dinner at Kafa-x , Korsgade 19

7.30 Talk by Tarek Shalaby about the Egyptian revolution, Activist from Cairo

VENUE - Saxil Cykler, Blågårdsgade 12, Nørrebro

WORKING SLOWLY-RADIO ALICE by Guido Chiesa (2004) 111mins 

Revisiting the Italy of the radical Seventies and its obsessions with class struggle, creative anarchy and macrame ponchos, Working Slowly (Radio Alice) provides a fascinating glimpse of a time of protest.


VENUE: Folkets Hus, Stengade 50, Nørrebro

10.30 Coffee and tea

How might past utopian ideas inform the question of communism today?
Discussion, drawing maps of future and past utopias, writing a blueprint for a utopia in the present. Walking around and trying to find utopian traces (architecture, art, everyday events) in the shit of the present.

Human strike and the critical value of depression / Resistant bodies /
Affinity, friendship and the end of organizations / Politics as a capitalist enterprise / The value of doing nothing / What's the point of being a communist activist anyway?


Part Two of the workshop. We will be an experiment in collective use of images and sound. We will create a large collective storyboard which will act as our starting point for finding different ways of making a film together. It's okay if you have missed Part One. All welcome.


3PM - 6PM

What have we learned together from all of our discussions and working together over the last two days? What ideas and reflections can we share? We will attempt to think how these discussions can inform some kind of practice and tactics.
We can also ask what inspiration can be drawn from recent movements in Greece, Spain, Egypt, Occupy and from squatting, the refusal of work, the question of violence, etc. Can we ever win and what would winning mean? All the groups, participants, passersby and so forth who have been part of the Communisation Festival will gather once again to discuss the problem of what is to be done. Or of How to?

6.30-8.00 Self-organised dinner in the area.

VENUE - Saxil Cykler, Blågårdsgade 12, Nørrebro

EASTERN PERIPHERY by Vasilis Vafeas (1979)
Chronicle of workplace anomie at 2 different scales of medical supply firm in Greece (local capital and international capital) which unfolds in two halves that don't seem to have any narrative connection.

Later: Bar and music in the street.